I bought three swords and two anarchis plant a my lfs and when I described my tank (55 gal., been running awhile normal untreated black gravel, two blue gouramis, three bala sharks, a rainbow shark, african clawed frog and pictus catfish) and they said I could just anchor the plants in and they would do fine and the anarchis have, but all three swords have gotten holes in them I don't know why or what to do about it.
Fert dosing scedule:
All chemicals used:
Fish that are in the tank:
its a potassium deficiency, buy some potassium nitrate powder.
how bigs the tank?
I do not recommend dosing with individual nutrients unless you know what you are doing, and few if any of us, myself included, do not. There are 17 nutrients required by plants, in specific porportion to each other. Excess of one nutrient can cause plants to develop a deficiency in another nutrient. Potassium excess results in iron deficiency, and as Echinodorus requires iron in particular, this is certainly not advisable.
A basic comprehensive fertilizer, liquid or root tab/stick, is a better way to go. In the case of swords, I would use root fertilization as they are heavy feeders and being bog plants in nature they feed almost exclusively through their root systems; it makes sense to put the nutrients where they will most readily get them. Nutrafin's Plant-Gro sticks work very well, and there is also Seachem's Flourish root tablets that I have not personally tried so can't recommend myself but others have used them with success. I use the Plant-Gro sticks and they certainly work, particularly with Echinodorus.
Having said that, more information as Mitch asked for would be helpful, in case there is another cause. But with Echinodorus, it is most often lack of nutrients.
A gram of KH2PO4 every 2 days, will provide approximately 3.9ppm of potassium, In terrestrial plants excess K can and will block active iron transportation, but in the aquarium levels of 3.9ppm simply isn't high enough to restrict the uptake, and their is no scientific evidence to suggest that it will block iron intake, In another post you said that when you dosed high levels of K you noticed that Iron wasn't being up taken by the plants, This will more than likely have been caused by Magnesium, Zinc and Copper, which in excess levels will restrict iron uptake.
Adding a gram every 2 days will need to be followed by a 50% water change at the end of the week.
Potassium affecting iron uptake is an interesting concept, and one that I am not aware of. I dose potassium to non limiting amounts, so I wonder how close I am to inhibiting the uptake of iron. Is there a figure for me to work to?
I have not seen specific figures, but this fact was mentioned in another forum. And a while back Aunt kymmie used potassium for something and the plants were affected; I suggested she balance out the nutrients again and when she did the plants recovered. It appeared to be iron deficiency at the time. Of course, the symptoms of yellowing leaves gradually browning and dying can be caused by any one of several nutrient deficiencies and most of us would be unable to diagnose further. The safe course is always preferable.
Dosing an aquarium with excess nutrients and then doing a massive water change in the hopes of countering the effects of the overdosing is not a responsible aquarium practice in my view. Particularly in natural (low-tech) setups where the balance is probably delicate. Tom Barr does not recommend his EI approach in such setups, at least not in the post by him that I've read.
You wouldn't need to do massive water changes to prevent overdoses if you knew what you were doing in the first place and only added the balance required. I don't care if the man in the moon came up with this scheme, it is not responsible to be adding nutrients to an aquarium containing fish in amounts that are either unmeasured (with respect to all 17 nutrients in balance with each other, for which there is ample scientific evidence) or believed to probably be too much. Plants will photosynthesize up to the nutrient or light that is in least supply, it is the botannical "law" of limiting factor. Besides it wastes money. It is not a scheme I recommend, and we will leave it at our disagreement on that issue.
water changes are not there to remove nutrients from the water column. That is not what it is about with EI. This is a common misconception, people get confused with nutrients & ammonia/ ammonium.
The water changes are there to remove algal spores, ammonia and excreted products by plants - such as proteins which form biofilms for algae to feed on.
Tom Barr doesnt recommend it because there is no need to dose those levels in a low tech. EI is designed to cover maximum uptake values, it was based on a atnk with about 4-6wpg of light and CO2 levels which were non-limiting (no fish in the aquarium). Maximum daily uptake values were then recorded and this is how EI came about.
There has never been any evidence of high nutrient levels causing disease or death in fish - not at the levels we dose at anyway.
If you do want to go along the EI guidelines, then i would do 1/4 of the doses on a low tech tank.
The point of EI is too provide enough nutrients so they are non-limiting, do you think Tom would really design a dosing method that would actually restrict nutrient uptake! I dont think so.
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